On 25 October 2023, in the margins of the NATO-Industry Forum in Stockholm, Sweden, the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) signed a Not-For-Profit Framework agreement with Finland's VTT Technical Research Centre. This marks the first cooperation of this kind with a Finnish partner organization after only half a year since Finland joined NATO.
The Not-For-Profit Framework agreement clears the pathway for VTT, a research and innovation partner for companies owned by the state of Finland, to contribute to the Alliance's cutting-edge capabilities with its expertise, talent and technology. This arrangement makes VTT the first Finnish organization to sign such an agreement with the NCI Agency, and the 11th partner organization of the Agency's Not-For-Profit Framework.
"The agreement shows that the NCI Agency values VTT's expertise. For us, this agreement provides the opportunity to get involved in the NCI Agency's research projects, which concern a wide scope of demanding topics and technologies. This approach resonates well with VTT's research focus on many high-tech areas. Our goal is a long-term cooperation with NATO," said Sauli Eloranta, Vice President of VTT's Safe and connected society research area.
"Just like the NCI Agency, VTT has a long history of tackling some of the toughest challenges in Information and Communications Technology, Space, Data and Defence. Adding VTT to our growing list of not-for-profit partners will make the Alliance both stronger and smarter," stated NCI Agency General Manager Ludwig Decamps.
The framework agreement between VTT and the NCI Agency is valid for a period of five years. In addition to VTT, the Agency's Not-For-Profit Framework includes 10 organizations from different NATO Nations. Through this enhanced cooperation with not-for-profit organizations, the Agency has greater access to specialized skills, expertise and innovation.
The Not-For-Profit Framework is a cooperation framework that aims to complement the Agency's existing relationships and frameworks with industry. It allows the NCI Agency to establish relationships with not-for-profit organizations from the NATO Nations such as national defence labs, or academic, scientific and research institutions, supporting the Agency's research activities and capability development, by speeding up its project fruition and bringing new advanced expertise to the Agency's use.